WHO review international spread of Wild Poliovirus
The WHO emergency committee met on Thursday July 31st 2014 to review the situation regarding the international spread of Wild Poliovirus. The affected states who meet the criteria for “States currently exporting wild poliovirus” participated in the meeting and were as follows: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan and Syrian Arab Republic. In May 2014, the WHO declared the international spread of Wild Poliovirus a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC). Since May and the onset of the high transmission season for polio, further new international spread has occurred in central Asia (from Pakistan to Afghanistan as recently as June 2014) and a poliovirus originated in Central Africa (Equatorial Guinea) was reported from the Americas. In addition, Pakistan and Cameroon have had additional cases and geographic expansion of the infected areas within each country since May 5th.
The international spread of poliovirus in 2014 continues to threaten the ongoing effort to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine preventable diseases, in light of this, it was the unanimous view of the committee that the conditions of a PHEIC continue to be met. The situation will be reassessed in three months.